The Philippines is an archipelago comprising some 7,100 islands with a total land area of almost 300,000 square kilometres. Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei border the Philippines to the south,China-and Taiwan-to the north, Vietnam to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east. Three main island groups divide the country: Luzon in the north, the Visayas in the centre, and Mindanao in the south. Luzon and Mindanao together make up 65 per cent of the Philippines’ total land mass. The capital city, Manila, is located in Luzon.
The projected population of the Philippines is 94 million in 2010, with about 15 per cent belonging to indigenous groups. It is estimated that about 80 per cent of the population are Catholics and 5 per cent are Muslims. The most commonly spoken language in the Philippines is Filipino, a language derived from the Tagalog language of central and southern Luzon. English is also widely spoken, particularly in urban areas. There are some 87 ethnic languages and dialects spoken throughout the Philippines.
Education and Study in Philippines
The Philippines has one of the highest literacy rates in Asia and in the world. As of 2006, its literacy rate is 93%. As a result, Filipinos are highly demanded in many parts of the world because of its professional skills, proficiency in English and ability to learn other foreign languages and adapt new cultures and traditions.
English remains the primary language used in schools and universities. Majority of educational materials and references are printed in English. A lot of these technical resources do not have a counterpart version in Filipino because of the complexities of the said language. School year begins in June and ends in March. Primary education consists of grade 1 to grade 6 students whose age ranges between 7 and 12 years old. Secondary education has four levels starting with first year up to fourth year with 13 to 16-year old students. Most universities and colleges offer 4-year degree courses consisting of 2 semesters a year. There are some universities that offer 3-4 semesters a year.
The Filipino culture highly regards Education as an important factor to be successful in life. There are colleges in the Philippines that consistently made it to the list as top universities of the world and in Asia. Consequently, the government provides a big part of nation’s budget to education.
Thousands of foreign university students are flocking to the Philippines, attracted by cheap yet high-quality courses conducted in English and an easy-going lifestyle outside class.
With more than 2,100 private and state-run institutions nationwide offering a wide array of courses, and an immigration policy friendly to foreign students, the former American colony is enjoying an enrolment boom.
Nearly 20,000 foreign students held special visas at the end of the school year in March, according to the immigration bureau.